Microsoft defends aggressive Windows 10 update pop-up as market share grows

UPDATE: Microsoft has defended its aggressive Windows 10 upgrade tactics, issuing a statement reading: “The Windows 10 upgrade is a choice – designed to help people take advantage of the most secure, and most productive Windows. People receive multiple notifications to accept the upgrade, and can reschedule or cancel the upgrade if they wish.”

Some would argue it’s the “multiple notifications” that’s the problem, but nonetheless, the tactic seems to be working, as Windows 10 marketshare has increased from 15.34% at the beginning of April to 17.43% today.

The original piece continues below:

As you read this now, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to see at least one ‘X’ button on the screen. Pressing it, as you’d expect, will instantly put an end to my words and let you get on with your day. It has been part of expected computer behaviour since Windows 95 – you press it, and the content is dismissed forever.

It’s something of an irony, then, that 21 years later it is the Windows 10 upgrade windows that shifts the meaning. Users choosing to dismiss the Windows 10 upgrade window with that familiar little red X have found their click has been interpreted by Microsoft as “Yes please, do upgrade me to Windows 10 at my earliest convenience.”

This is a problem, because until recently pressing the close button has done exactly what it promised: “Thanks Microsoft, but I’m very happy with Windows 7 or 8 or whatever it is I’m using.” The window closes and you carry on with your life.

The change has come about because Microsoft now designates the Windows 10 upgrade as “recommended,” and most people sensibly have their computers set to automatically take recommended updates to keep their computers safe from hackers. When you close a recommended update, it doesn’t go away, it schedules it for a later date.

To be fair to Microsoft, the text does explain that the update will be scheduled for a certain date and you can cancel it when the time comes, but given the company has been somewhat heavy handed with its update prompts, it’s not unreasonable to assume that many users will have gotten rather used to closing the window without reading its contents.

Microsoft told the BBC that the rationale for the change was to ensure as many people as possible were able to take advantage before Windows 10 became a paid product. “With the free Windows 10 upgrade offer ending on 29 July, we want to help people upgrade to the best version of Windows.”

“As we shared in October, Windows 10 will be offered as a ‘recommended’ update for Windows 7 and 8.1 customers whose Windows Update settings are configured to accept ‘recommended’ updates. Customers can choose to accept or decline the Windows 10 upgrade.”

Still leaves a bad taste in your mouth if you’ve closed that window more times than you can count, and the upgrade arrives on your PC anyway, I’d imagine.

READ NEXT: The number of ads in the Windows 10 start menu is set to double

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